Health Care Hero
Published 6:48 am Monday, January 16, 2006
Ronnie Thompson receives honor
Brewton's Ronnie Thompson was one of 10 people in Southwest Alabama recognized Thursday for their dedication to the health care industry.
The awards were presented at a reception hosted by the Southwest Alabama Regional Hospital Council of the Alabama Hospital Association, one of seven regional awards presentations held as part of the association's third annual statewide “Health Care Heroes” contest, an effort to honor the dedication of health care workers in the state and to highlight health careers. The contest will culminate with an awards banquet in February where one overall winner from each region will be recognized.
Thompson, a paramedic/ambulance service shift captain at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, said “My co-workers selected me to represent the ambulance service and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital. I am happy to know that they had confidence to select me.
Thompson's health care career began only eight years ago when he joined D.W. McMillan's ambulance service as an emergency medical technician. But his dedication to serving others began long before. He became a firefighter with the city of Brewton more than 25 years ago and is currently serving as fire captain, while also working full time with the hospital.
Thompson is described as someone who leads by example and who encourages his co-workers and teaches them positive outcomes when they make mistakes. When he is not working a shift at the fire department, he is said to be ready to report for extra duty at the ambulance service at a moment's notice and without complaint.
But, he said, he never works alone.
He is known to take the time to explain procedures and answer patients' questions. It is also said the confidence he has in his own professional ability shows through to the patients and helps to calm them and ease their anxieties, something that is often linked to better outcomes.
Thompson has an impact on the community. In addition to serving as an instructor on life support at the hospital, he also teaches life support classes to area volunteer fire departments.
He goes out of his way to promote the hospital and invest in the future of health care. During his time off he voluntarily promotes careers in emergency medical services or other health careers at school career days.
Thompson trained to become a paramedic at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Ronnie's wife, Becky, also works for the ambulance service.
The Alabama Hospital Association, based in Montgomery, is a statewide trade organization that represents more than 100 hospitals and numerous other health care providers by offering membership services designed to enhance the provision of health care in Alabama.